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Video:How to Hit a One-Handed Backhand on the Rise

with Jeff Cooper

Hitting a one-handed backhand on the rise in tennis saves you from having to meet the ball uncomfortably high. Watch this About.com video to learn a skill with both defensive and offensive value.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Hit a One-Handed Backhand on the Rise

Hi, I'm Jeff Cooper for About.com, here to help you learn how to hit a one-handed backhand on the rise.

Advantages to a One-Handed Backhand

A one-handed backhand has many advantages, but it has one huge weakness; it can't deliver much power or topspin when it meets the ball up high. The best solution, if you can execute it, is to meet the ball early, while it's on its way up.

Hitting a Ball on the Rise in Tennis

In addition to the physical advantages of hitting on the rise, you gain several tactical advantages from meeting the ball farther forward in your court:

You give your opponent less time to react, you cut off angles sooner, and you can create sharper angles yourself.

Use the same grip for hitting on the rise that you would for hitting other backhands at the same height.

For an aggressive shot, you'll want to meet the ball relatively low, between knee and waist high.

Some heavy topspin hitters might force you to meet the ball higher on the rise, in which case you'll probably want to slice it.

Getting Ready to Hit a One-Handed Backhand on the Rise

Get set up in a square stance, lined up with the ball's flight, as early as you can. Take at least one good step forward with your right foot before you swing. Use the same type of backswing you would for a normal backhand at the height you'll be meeting the ball, except possibly somewhat shorter if you need to simplify the timing.

It's difficult to create heavy topspin when hitting on the rise. Use a slightly upward swing for lower points of contact and a slightly downward swing for higher points of contact where you'll hit slice.

Meet the ball well in front of yourself, then follow through mostly forward.

Here's a one-handed backhand on the rise.

For more on backhands and everything else in tennis, visit About.com.

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